Covering Time

mira pinki krispil clock 430x412 - Covering Time

Well, it’s that season again. While everyone else is shopping, crafters and artisans like yourself are working madly away on the stock that your audience demands to make their gift giving season the best one to date. For some of us, that audience is a retail account but for many more of us, it’s the far more intimidating circle of friends and family that we fret over. What do we do this year for gifts and surprises that we haven’t already done? Asking myself this question, I came up with a couple of ideas and in researching, clocks really hit a note for me. Any clayer of any level and any specialized set of techniques can create a clock that is both personal and expressive and everyone of every age can appreciate a lovingly created handmade clock.

Cane-covered clock faces are an easy project for clayers of any skill level. You can buy old clocks at the thrift store, or inexpensive ones at the big box store, or just a clock kit from a craft or hobby store that you put into your cane-covered clay sheets. Here is a fun and colorful, slightly off from the norm, cane-covered clock face for some initial inspiration. Mira Pinki Krispil is quite fond of cane covered decor but she always takes it one step beyond.

I like this piece because of the slight off-centeredness and the imagery in the center. It is more than decorated. The image in its center is intriguing with energetic lines bouncing back and forth through intertwined imagery. It’s just a great visual piece to start with. The fact that it’s a functional clock is a bonus.

Mira creates her colorful piece in south Israel and sells her work on Etsy. You can also see more of her designs by checking in on her Flickr photostream.

Arieta’s Colorful World

Arieta vessel 430x396 - Arieta's Colorful WorldFirst of all, my sincere apologies for the wonky email situation with posts going out last week. Took a while to resolve as it turned out to be the collision of two different services throwing our smooth-running world into chaos. (Just kidding … our world is often not running as smoothly as we’d like!) We are still trying to work out how to prevent it from happening again so if it gets silly again on any level this week, chalk it up to repairs, but I am told it really should all be fine.

Since so many of you weren’t seeing the rainbow-focused posts last week, I do urge you to jump over to the blog and read up on work by Christine Damm, Cecilia Leonini, and Heather Moore. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep at it this week with wonderful work that just isn’t afraid to use all, or nearly all, the colors in the rainbow.

This vessel is by Arieta Stavridou who a lot of people first got to know in the pages of The Polymer Arts last summer. The difference between her work then, which was absolutely stunning and dominated by intricately patterned plates created with cane slices, is amazing. She seems to be getting more and more bold with her colors and, apparently, no decor item or vessel is bound to be safe from being adorned by her hand if in reach. This image is actually from a brief video that shows it from a few different angles. It still can’t possibly do it justice and must be awe-inspiring in person.

Just take a look at what she’s been up to since she was last in our pages and on our blog by visiting Arieta on her Facebook page.

And a little aside … come join me and my fellow trouble makers for a some crazy fun, September 2nd in Los Angeles–The Triple Trouble Creative Play Day. If you are in the area for Labor Day Weekend, join Christi Friesen, Anke Humpert and myself (a very rare appearance for Sage this year! ) for 6 hours of non-stop creativity. We’ll each be teaching several of our signature techniques as well as divulging many a tip and trick. And, yes, there will be chocolate. (Sign up by August 9th and get a free Christi Friesen book and a signed copy of Polymer Journeys!)

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Canes Gone Wild

olga-perova-flickr-2014While researching the translucent canes last week, I came across a lot of amazing cane pieces. Some were delicately beautiful, some extraordinarily skilled and some were just wild. This vase is a case in point.

To be honest, I am not sure what Olga Perova did to this but it completely sucked me in because the details are tremendous. I believe the work is a combination of extruder caning and extruder mokume with micro beads and maybe some post cure carving going on. Not absolutely sure but what a lot of work this must have been. A part of me wants to see the form itself more controlled–straighter upper edges and cleaner openings in the body–but then I am not sure that the feeling of complete abandon would be quite as strong and that could diminish it overall. Maybe my eyes and mind just need a place to rest that is simple and ordinary while looking at this. Of course, bedlam and a riot of color and texture may very well be Olga’s intention. In which case, she certainly did that.

To really appreciate the detail and intensity of this piece, you need to pop over to Olga’s Flickr photostream and see all the shots. Then look through the rest of what she has. You’ll see that most of her work is very well controlled but she doesn’t shy away from being experimental either.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create chaos. Work completely intuitively for at least 15 minutes. Let chaos rules the work that comes from your hands. If you are itching to put order to your chaos after 15 minutes, do so. Otherwise keep at it and see what comes of pure intuition.

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Spring in Surprising Places

Melissa Terlizzi A delicate balanceOnto more thoughts of Spring. We had a perfect Spring day yesterday but today we are in the middle of a blizzard, so I went off to find something cheerful and found some fun sculptures, wall art, and jewelry by Melissa Terlizzi. Her creatures are beautifully sculpted, but it’s the situations she puts them in that really made me smile. This here is not the most unusual place to find a tree frog but it would kind of startle you to find one on your indoor plants. She also has frog peeking out of terrariums, mice in the pantry, and beetles in books. There is a bright playfulness in the faces of her creatures and in the way she sets up the shots. Many of her compositions, like this one here, are predominantly constructed from polymer clay components, but many others use natural settings and common household items to bring out the story.

Take a break from your common or gray day and peruse her Flickr pages for some Spring cheer.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create or adapt a piece of yours to live in an unusual place. Hang charms in the kitchen cupboards, replace blind pulls with beautiful focal beads, put a cute sculpted creature in the medicine cabinet (who doesn’t need a bit of cheer when opening the medicine cabinet?),  glue tiles to the inside of the mailbox  door, etc. Look for the most unusual and surprising place that will delight your family and visitors.

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